OWGR Board announces ranking status for Europe's leading open access Clutch Pro Tour

Swiss Challenge 2022 - Day Three
George Bloor was the biggest star of the Clutch Pro Tour in the 2023 season. (Image via Getty)

The Clutch Pro Tour, called the Mizuno Next Gen Series for promotional purposes, received its historic admission as an Eligible Tour to receive world ranking points on Thursday, April 25.

The news was announced by the Official World Golf Series on its social media profiles and website.

The process for the approval of the Clutch Pro Tour as one of the Eligible Tours to receive OWGR points was extended for 17 months. On this approval, OWGR Chairman Peter Dawson said (via website):

“This is a significant milestone for golf, and OWGR is deeply encouraged by the achievement and the continued efforts in developing the sport of golf in the United Kingdom.
"We look forward to watching the progress of the Clutch Pro Tour as it continues to play a key role in the development of players from the region."

The relevance of this fact is that the Clutch Pro Tour runs 54-hole tournaments, as does LIV Golf. What separates one from the other is that the Mizuno-sponsored circuit makes cuts after 36 holes and that all its players earn their card through various qualifying criteria.

This is not the first circuit operating 54-hole tournaments to be admitted as an OWGR Eligible Circuit. In 2023, the Liga de Golf Profesional Mexicana (Mexican Professional Golf Tour) received such status, even though its tournaments only consist of three rounds of 18 holes each.

What is the Clutch Pro Tour?

The Clutch Pro Tour is a third category circuit or mini tour emerged in the United Kingdom in 2019, and its first season was played in 2020. It has feeder tour status to the Challenge Tour, as its top three players earn full membership to the second-ranked circuit in Europe each year.

The Mizuno Next Gen Series is managed by the company Clutch Golf, which also has an amateur and a junior circuit. Moreover, the professional circuit has a second-tier circuit, which allows players to stay in action when they are unable to play on the main circuit, although only tournaments on the main circuit receive points toward the OWGR.

For the 2024 season, the main circuit has 17 tournaments (including the Tour Championship) and two unofficial tournaments scheduled. The second-tier circuit has 15 events scheduled. In both cases, the official calendar will run from May to September.

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